Sitting on top of a Rock

Butterfly

The bridge spanned across the shallow ravine. Above was the trickling of a stream over a precipice. The water splashes down in the sandy pool at the bridges foot. Two hikers had stopped in the center of the bridge. They were taking turns posing for pictures in front of the weedy falls.

“Move back a little more. I can’t see the waterfall behind you.”

The bridge shook slightly as the man backed up. The weathered handrail bowed back and the man leaned his head and shoulders over the bridge’s edge. Another gaggle of hikers walked over the hill and out from behind the bushes that hid the rest of the trail. They gathered at the edge of the bridge waiting their turn to take pictures at the falls.

The couple left them behind and walked further down the trail. The trail was covered by a crust that crunched lightly with every step, but the wind had a dusty smell as it blew. They came to a long flat stretch. The trees lined either side of a grassy meadow and the trail cut a beige scar across the middle. There was a group of about five butterflies sitting the middle of the trail. They fanned their two toned vibrant blue and velvety black wings. Another butterfly lit down onto a fresh pile of horse manure. It extended its proboscis into the dark brown round of excreta to suck the water from the steaming pile.

The woman pulled the camera out of her pack and began snapping pictures.

“Really, you are taking a picture of horse crap?”

“The butterfly is really pretty. People will just think it is sitting on top of a rock.”

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2015 in review– Thanks to everyone that found an interest in my site!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 940 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I Am Bear

I lumber past full classrooms

Sniffing for ripe berries.

I try to claw tree bark from

The bench in the hall

To pick grubs from their burrows.

I try to lick lines of termites

From the painted brick walls

I like the way they bite my

Lips as I chew. I want to

Gorge myself on fresh trout,

But the only thing streaming

Down these halls are other

Students that ready themselves

To sleep through the bleak days

Of ten page reports

And last minute cram sessions.

We are bear so we can

Hibernate through finals

And wake up in the workforce.

Try Out Our New Kenmore Washing Machine, the Dada 5000

Dawg_Fight_insta_v2

I recently watched Dawg Fight on Netflix. It is a documentary following an unregulated backyard fighting promoter from South West Miami Dade County. The film follows Dhafir Harris also known as Dada 5000 as he deals with his stable of fighters and referees their fights. Dada and his fighters are depicted as underdogs held back by the poverty in which they grew up. However, the documentary tells early on that Dada and one of his partners were former bodyguards for Kimbo Slice while he fought in the UFC. While it is possible that Dada and his partner blew all the money that they earned while they were working for Kimbo Slice, they still had the television exposure and recognition from appearing with Kimbo Slice at his fights. So from the beginning, Dawg Fight gives away the not so guarded secret that documentaries aren’t unbiased depictions of reality.

Somehow, Dawg Fight changes focus from the story of an up and coming organization of poor fighters and transitions to the story of the discovery of Dada as an up and coming professional fighter. A few scenes are dedicated to his training at a real gym rather than the obstacle course he had set up in his back yard, and the documentary culminates with Dada’s first professional fight. In the documentary, Dada is the favorite over his opponent, Cedrick “The Killa Gorilla” James, and Dada beats him handily as the announcers of the fight are shown to marvel at his fighting prowess.

But I was impatient while watching the documentary because throughout the entire show, everyone that was interviewed kept mentioning how deadly a fighter Dada was and how he could easily beat any of the fighters that compete in the backyard. It was even mentioned that Dada retired from fighting because it was unfair for him to beat these fighters into a bloody pulp. And because the documentary seemed unwilling to show any of Dada’s fights, I Googled his name and found a YouTube video of the unedited version of the fight between Dada 5000 and the Killa Gorilla.

Obviously, the raw footage had to be edited for inclusion in the documentary. A documentary is not going to include the fighter’s meandering to the ring while the announcers make jokes about the questionable background of the fighters that are coming to the ring and the silly way in which they filled out their prefight questionnaires. But you might imagine that the documentary would include all of the important highlights required to understand how the fight actually occurred.

The video of the fight that was shot for the documentary was essentially the same as official fight footage only shot from different angles and much closer up. The footage was cut and spliced together in fast edits ignoring the boring parts of the fight, and the narrative of the fight was mostly the same. Dada and Killa exchange punches. Killa attempts a weak takedown and Dada scrambles back to his feet. More punches are exchanged. They end up on the ground again and Killa is controlling Dada from side mount. This is when things started to get a little wonky. Up until this point the Documentary and the YouTube video mostly matched. The documentary skipped over much of the early fight where Killa was dominating by getting in most of the punches on Dada, but I could tell that the fighters seemed to be evenly matched. Whichever fighter got the first punch in would continue with a flurry of punches until the attacker slipped or needed to stop to breath. It just turned out that Killa got in more punch flurries than Dada did. That was sort of just skipped over by the documentary footage, but that is not that big of a deal.

However, when Killa is in side mount on top of Dada neither fighter seems to know what to do next. But the documentary chooses this time to play a clip of the announcers that was taken from a joke that was made at Dada’s expense while both fighters were walking to the ring. The announcers found it humorous that Dada had labeled both his stand up and ground fighting styles as “The Streets,” and they were having a laugh about it. When they were watching Dada being controlled by Killa in the YouTube video the announcers were talking about Dada’s lack of ground defense because he did not give any resistance as Killa lifted his leg and slid it slowly over Dada’s waist and completed the chest mount. But in the documentary, the announcer’s voice was altered with some kind of audio filter or even just rerecorded specially for the documentary because the discussion of Dada’s poor ground skills was replaced with a serious and intimidating announcer saying that Dada’s ground fighting style was “The Streets.” The documentary depiction of both the ground fighting and the announcer’s voice were edited in such a way as to make it seem Like Dada was in total control of the situation, and when the referee stood both fighters back up in the neutral standing position, I would have been so caught up in the falsely manufactured drama of this fight that I would not have questioned the referee’s decision to stand them up if I had not seen the YouTube version first. In the YouTube video of this fight the announcers are very concerned about the referee’s decision to stand the fighters back up from Killa’s dominant chest mount position. In fact, they call it a very controversial decision.

As I had mentioned before, both Dada and Killa seemed to be evenly matched, and as evenly matched fighters, all either fighter needed to win was the smallest of advantages. Killa’s chest mount over Dada was a significant advantage for him and Killa would have won the fight in seconds had the referee not stood them back up. In fact, the only reason that the referee could have had to break up Killa’s chest mount was to protect Dada from further injury. Dada was on his back and not fighting while Killa was punching him in the face, so if the referee felt the need to intervene he should have stopped the fight and ruled Killa the winner by Technical Knockout.

But instead, the referee took away Killa’s advantage and stood the fighters back up to the neutral position where the fight could be won by either fighter at any time. Dada was the first person to catch the other in a flurry of punches. They had a few tentative punches then Killa tried to tackle Dada. Dada dodged the tackle and unleashed a flurry of punches on the back of Killa’s head knocking him out. This is a much different outcome than the one depicted in the supposedly unbiased documentary where Dada soundly defeated Killa in a one sided battle that Dada was destined to win the whole time. But this is the power of editing and revision. You can take confused and meandering narrative and revise it into a powerful story that says exactly what it was supposed to say from the beginning.

Coffee Run

I worked hard to qualify for this

Prestigious internship at MI6.

I expected beautiful women,

High-stakes missions, and fancy cars,

But all they ever ask me

Is make runs to Starbucks.

.

I drive the same ‘98 Isuzu

Hombre that got me through college.

The exterior is white but for

Rust seeping through the seams.

.

The dash is cracked where I punched it

The last time it didn’t start, but

The seat is form fitted to my rear.

There are holes in the upholstery,

And I always have to wipe bits of

Orange foam off my pants before

I return to work.

.

Did I mention they don’t pay me?

At least, the truck gets good mileage.

Though it’s as slow as ever,

They always need me back in a hurry.

.

They installed a shiny switch on

The steering wheel to activate the

High explosive heat seekers. They

Gave me permission to use them if

The line is too long. 007

Can’t start the day without his Mocha

Frappe Latte. Shaken. Not stirred.

Running on Empty

Heineken

The sun was warm against the morning chill. The long shadows were shrinking. This was a day that was uniquely suited for drinking beer outside. Ned was standing, beer in hand, on the landing. The door was swung open to the second floor apartment. But Derrick had his crescent wrench and screwdriver in hand. He was alternately jabbing and cranking on the rusting lump of engine bolted to the back of his VW bus. Somehow, this process adjusted the timing. Derrick had traded for a stinger exhaust. And Ned was trying to envision how it would be installed with a minimum of bailing wire and duct tape.

Ned watched as Derrick took a step back and stared at the tools in his hands. Derrick shrugged his shoulders then dropped the tools.  He flung open the side doors of the bus slid his dented red tool box across the floorboards. Crouched next to the car, he rummaged through his tools. There must have been something in his peripheral vision because he reached under the front seat and pulled out a bag of tacos. He unwrapped one, spread open the soggy shell, lifted it to his nose, and gave it a good long sniff. He took a bite.  He chewed slowly then swallowed hard.

“Yuck, this is stale.” He looked up at Ned and took another bite. “Toss me one of those beers. I need something to wash this down.”

“No problem,” Ned said. “I’ve got a special one just for you.” Ned walked into the small apartment. Just beyond the door was a dingy coffee table covered with empty cans. He selected a choice and unblemished can labeled Miller Light. Ned held the can in his left hand and unzipped his pants with his right. Wouldn’t you know it, Ned had stage fright. He kicked the door shut behind him and closed his eyes. Ned focused on the faucet’s constant drip until his bladder let loose. A light breeze opened the door with a creak. Ned startled from the sound. His hands shot out to his sides. The urine sloshed in the can. Luckily, he wasn’t one to piss himself from fright. His urine stream had shut off almost instantly and only three or four drops got on the carpet. The can was little more than half full, but that would have to do. He did not think that he could get started again anytime soon. Ned zipped up and walked out the door.

“What took you so long? Did you brew it yourself?”

“You could say that.” Ned tossed the can over the rail.

Derrick took two quick steps away from the car. He tilted his head back keeping his eyes on the can. At the last second, he reached up and caught the can. The liquid splashed, and a few droplets rained down on his face. He must have whiffed that unmistakable smell or felt the heat through the can.

“You pissed in it.” He threw the can back at Ned. It hit the railing spraying the ammoniac liquid all over Ned and the surrounding area.

“You knew I was drinking the last one.”

Derrick shook his head. “Lock the door. We’re getting some more.”

Damn it. Is he channeling Jessie Jackson? Of all the things that he may want to emulate about the man, his cockamamie rhymes and faux-southern cadence should not be one of them. But it is a great way to talk crap. Ned said, “I’ve got a feeling. Your shit ain’t worth stealing.”

Derrick raised his voice. “I don’t know if you have noticed, but this neighborhood seems to be the focus of many unsavory characters.”

“Yeah, they must be the alcoholic types because they never come over and drink with us.” Just last night, Ned had answered the knock at the door. The young couple that lived next to them was standing there with their stupid faces. Turn down your music they said. We have jobs they said.  We have groceries. Your friends parked in our spot. You left garbage on the stoop. We are calling the police if we see you pissing off the balcony one more time. Someone caked shit on our door handle… Well, that last one will be tonight. “But you’re right. I have never had neighbors as bad as these.”

Ned locked the door and met Derrick at the car. “I know of a place. It’s a little out of the way, but they don’t check I.D.”

In the years since the interstate came through, the old highway had come to be used for little more than travel between the local cities. There wasn’t much down this section of the road except the rusted hulks of ancient fueling stations, dilapidated restaurants, and faded old motor lodges. The only people who kept this road alive were loggers and out-of-towners who were lost. Even the county seemed to forget that this part of the road existed. Aside from the brush and trees that encroached all the way to the edge of the road or the fields of kudzu that consumed everything in its path, this stretch of road was deserted. The only vestiges of the golden age of highway travel that still remain are at the intersections of major thoroughfares.

But a good ways out of town, where this dead road interests another, a decaying truck stop clung to life among the rubble. The sign for the Dingle Brother’s Truck Stop boasts of clean diesel, good food, and hot showers. But grass grew up through crumbling asphalt, and there were no takers at the fuel pumps. All the building’s original wood had been eaten away by time and termites. And the nails had long since rusted away. The building was held together with the mortar of bugs and dust lost between the layers of old paint.

Derrick pulled in to the parking lot and parked in front of the door. To the left was an overflowing trashcan. And past the trashcan a homeless man sat in the fetal position sucking the last drop from a bottle of Crystal Palace.

The day wasn’t hot, but Derrick was sweating face and his face was pale. The homeless man gagged. Derrick fumbled with the door handle and exited in a hurry. The homeless man vomited a slow drool. Derrick’s stomach gurgled like a draining tub. The homeless man made no effort to move. Derrick clenched his cheeks and walked stiff legged to the door. The vomit rolled down the homeless man’s neck and over his shirt.  Derrick looked back over his shoulder and said, “Grab a sixer of Steel Reserve. I’ll be in the shitter.”

Ned removed the keys from the ignition. Derrick had left the engine running. What an ass.

A kid was over by the diesel pumps squishing a puddle of greasy sludge between his toes. He waited for the kid to meet his gaze. Ned gave him a dirty look. That kid better keep his distance. Reservations aside, Ned entered the store.

The inside of the store looked like an old mechanics shop.  The place was dimly lit with high ceilings. They really do serve food. This place smells like boiled hog livers. The merchandise was scattered over filthy, old, wire racks. The floors were bare concrete with a thin layer of dust. Ned followed the footprints back to the beer cooler.

Ned contemplated the beer selection: Corona, if it needs lime and salt, how good can it be?  Lowenbrau: brewed in Munich. That’s in Germany right? Budweiser, ye old standby. And Steel Reserve, the butthole of beers. Ned was lost in thought when Derrick arrived.

“I found your mom’s phone number on the bathroom wall. Did you know that she has false teeth?”

Ned’s response was quick and decisive. He had warned Derrick before. The mama jokes had to stop. A quick nut shot should do the trick. He swung his arm swiftly towards Derrick’s crotch.

Derrick sidestepped the first blow. Then, he lifted his knee to block the next. “OK. OK.” He gave Ned a push. “Just grab the beer.”

Ned grabbed two six-packs of Steel Reserve. They walked up to the old bald man behind the register. Ned clanked the beer on the counter.

Derrick said, “Carful, or they will be all fizzy.”

The old man stared at them. “Let’s see them, boys.” he had a Tiparillo in the corner of his mouth and pit stains on his shirt. Mercifully, the air vent above Ned was still working, and he only got a hint of the old man’s true stink. Ned pulled two wadded bills from his front pocket.

“There you are sir, a couple of Lincolns.”

The old man’s face was stone, but his body shook. “You come up here with your hoo-hahs hanging out, and you are expecting favors from me?”

Ned said, “Doesn’t this cover it?” The old man must be greedier than he thought. But he didn’t have any more cash.

“Derrick said, “You can keep the change.”

The old man grabs the beer and slams it on the counter behind him. “You’re not just stupid, you’re deaf too?” The old man flailed his arms. “Get out of here.” Derrick and Ned scatted.

They ran out the front door. Ned’s heart was racing, but with the door between him and the old man, he slowed to a walk. Derrick took two more strides before he began to walk as well.

Derrick said, “I was about to slap the crap out of him until I saw you running.”

Derrick must have run first. Ned was not such a coward to run from a decrepit old man. “You’re both a couple of pussies.”

Ned flinched. It was the kid.

Derrick said, “I’ll slap you too. Call me a pussy.”

The kid was now leaning against the against the driver’s side door of the Microbus. “If you let me drink with you, I will help you get those beers.”

This was a hard spot for Ned to be in. But beer is beer. “Slap him after he gets us the beer.”

The kid said, “I will go in first. Wait for me to start kicking shit around. When they chase me out, you grab the beer. And I will meet back up with you. Have the van running.”

Derrick said, “It’s not a van…”

“…It’s a VW.” Ned said. “I am grabbing something I haven’t had. Heineken, I think.” Derrick followed the kid in. He did not wait for the signal. But Ned was already following Derricks lead.

The kid was barely inside the door when the old man was running out from behind the counter. “Get out of here. You little shit,” the old man said

Derrick grabbed two warm cases of one beer or another from an end-cap display. Ned swung open the glass doors to the beer cooler. The joy of discovery was welling up inside of him. His excitement was brimming like little shocks of electricity as he reached for the top shelf. The green bottles, that means quality. Ned turned to see Derrick and the kid both running out the back door. Something was wrong. He craned his neck further and saw two men guarding the front door. One was stupid and the other was ugly, or was it the other way around?

Just the same, Ned sprinted for the backdoor. Derrick must have slammed into the door as he ran out. One of his cases had shattered and the beers were scattered all over the floor. Ned stayed to the left to avoid most of the cans. He kicked the door open with his left and a quick spin move got him through the door without breaking even one bottle. Derrick’s right hand was holding a shredded scrap of red and white cardboard. The old man yelled something, and stupid and ugly came running out the back door.

The kid was already well on his way to the edge of the woods. Derrick was struggling to keep up with the kid. The weight of the beer in his left hand was pulling him off course, and the case slammed against his thigh. He would periodically turn to the right to correct his course. This resulted in a stumbling zigzag that was by no means fast. Derrick looked back. Either he had just given up drinking or stupid and ugly were catching up because he smashed his remaining case of beer on the ground. The cans went flying out of the box spinning and spraying. But Ned was not going to follow suit. Ned turned his head to see for himself how close stupid and ugly were. But he tripped over his own feet.

Ned hit the ground hard. The asphalt scraped his face and arms. His pain was soothed at his hands and wrists by a coolness that worked its way inward toward his chest. The blood and Heineken mixed, and he was baptized in the bitter nectar of disappointment. Ned heard the bellow of echoing laughter. Stupid gave him a good hard kick to the ribs, and ugly spit on his head. Stupid and ugly forcefully removed the wet boxes and shattered dreams from Ned’s grip. Stupid took booth of the shattered boxes of Heineken, and ugly gathered up the cans of Budweiser in the broken case. As stupid and ugly walked away, Ned scrambled to his feet. Derrick and the kid stood at the edge of the woods staring at him in impotence.

Derrick said, “When they caught you, I just about shit my pants.”

“Are you sure you didn’t? You did eat that three-day-old taco.” They stayed along the edge of the woods making fun of each other until stupid and ugly were a safe distance away.

Derrick said, “How are you getting home kid?”

But the kid was already gone. Either he disappeared into the mists from whence he came, or he had just become bored at the juvenile conversation in which they were engaged and slipped off into the woods to poke a dead skunk with a stick. We may never be certain.

Derrick and Ned walked the long way back to the Minibus. They stayed as far from the store as they could. When they got up the nerve to approach the front of the store where the VW was parked they noticed the homeless man was gone but the puddle of vomit remained. Derrick’s eyes were red. His face was pale, and Ned could see the beginnings of a tremor. “I think we should just call it a day.” Ned’s head throbbed.

“You’re not hung over, are you?”

“No.”

“Then we’re staying drunk today.”

“How? We don’t have any alcohol? Or are we gonna ring out my shirt and drink that. I know lets scoop up the homeless man’s vomit. I bet it has a fairly alcohol content.”

“Oh, ye of little faith.”

Look. The old man has our last ten bucks. Tell me. How we are going to buy any booze without money?”

Derrick looked angry, but he was quiet for once. Derrick just faced forward and keyed the ignition. The engine started but it sputtered and finally gave out altogether. Derrick tried again this time he pumped the gas pedal.

Ned wrung a handful of his shirt over his mouth. He managed just one drop. Mmm… That Heineken tastes better than I imagined.

R.I.P Carrie Fisher *Spoilers* Star Wars: The Force Awakens *Spoilers*

star wars tfa

Before you read my post, you should read this post by Nerdlingstale. My post is a response to this one: http://www.nerdlingstale.com/2015/12/22/star-wars-theories/

 

I loved the movie. I was so afraid that it was going to be another stinker like the prequels. Episode VII gave me all the right emotions in all the right places, And I agree that Kylo Ren is exactly what I wish Anakin had been. I was able to thoroughly enjoy this movie even with its issues.

Finn’s crisis of conscience happened too early. He turned away from the ‘dark side’ before we knew enough about his character to even care. If we had followed him through half the movie before he turned, we would have felt the enormity of his choice to run away, but instead, it was one of those scenes where you know you are supposed to feel joy for him doing the right thing and sorrow for the pain he feels yet you don’t care.

Han and Lea’s reactions were wrong. Han was afraid to see Lea but when they met they acted like it was just some happy family reunion instead of two former lovers that have a shared tragedy. And when they spoke of their son they spoke like he was just away at camp. I know that parents can often see beyond their children’s wrong doings, but their son was complicit in killing billions of people with his ‘not-death star’ uh… (What should I call it?)… Death Star.

And probably the biggest problem with the movie is that the plot is driven by a search for Luke Skywalker. This is a plot with no stakes. If the good guys find him. we get a cameo of Mark Hamel being a teacher, and If the bad guys find him we get a cameo of Mark Hamel as a captive. Either way, it is a win for the fans of the original trilogy that like being pandered to, but the fate of the universe does not hang on who finds him. so when Rea found Luke at the end all I thought was: “Now what?” But just the same, I loved every moment of the movie and I am dying to see the next one.

And for fan theories, Finn is force sensitive and will be training as a Jedi before the trilogy is over. The reason he was able to defy his storm trooper programing was because he had ‘force strengthened’ willpower. And the reason that Kylo Ren noticed him, knew his, serial number, and knew he was the one to run away was because he felt the force flowing in him. Also, with absolutely no light saber training Finn was able to hold his own with Kylo Ren who had years of training. Finn did eventually lose the fight but he was not cut down like a normal nobody would have been.

Rey will turn out to be Darth Plagueis. In The Knights of the Old Republic game from 2003, a young adult with no memory of his or her past was left alone on a planet, and as the story goes on the person starts to get force powers without having to train for them. This person eventually finds out that he or she had been the leader of the Sith until the Jedi council caught him or her and erased his or her mind and blocked him or her from the force. After the force block breaks down he or she gets a second chance to choose the light or dark side of the force.

Rey’s force abilities seem to jump out of her fully formed without any training when Anikin and Luke both had to learn to use their powers a little at a time. So over the next two movies we will learn that Luke and young Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) worked together to defeat Darth Plagueis and worked together to wipe her mind, and this is why Kylo Ren seemed so worried when he heard that a girl was seen with Finn and BB-8.

We will, then, find out that it was Darth Plagueis’s (Rey’s) supreme control of the dark side of the force that first tempted Kylo to the dark side. By the time he met Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo was easy pickings. And Kylo will tempt Rey to join forces with him to kill Snoke and rule the galaxy together as father and son… ahem… I mean partners. In the end, Kylo will sacrifice himself to kill Snoke and save Rey’s life, the rebels will destroy the new Death star before it becomes fully operational, and the Ewoks will have a dance party in their treehouses while the ghosts of Anikin, Obiwan, and Yoda look on.

I think I forgot to mention that this trilogy is just another retelling of the original trilogy just with different characters. It is directed by J. J. Abrams, and that is what he does. I mean just look at Star Trek II: The Not-Wrath-of -Kahn Wrath of Kahn.

The Monster: The Modernization of the Modern Prometheus

Stephen_Crane's_The_Monster_illustration

Stephen Crane’s novella, The Monster borrows liberally from ideas that are developed in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Shelley’s book is subtitled The Modern Prometheus. Prometheus was the Titan that helped Zeus create man out of clay as well as the one who brought fire to man against the will of Zeus. To oversimplify the story of Frankenstein, it is a story of the creation of a man from nonliving component parts very similar to Prometheus’s clay, but cranes reference to Prometheus has more to do with the malleability of the clay in which man was created. Not only is Henry’s faced changed like a lump of clay but his face is changed by fire, the other contribution of Prometheus.

Prometheus was punished by Zeus for giving the fire to man. While man was able to use this fire to cook their food and keep warm they could also hurt themselves with it or use the fire to create metal weapons. And with the new weapons they could kill each other more efficiently. Therefore, fire was considered a modernizing influence on mankind that not only made life easier but also created more dangers to go along with the way that it helped to simplify life.

In cranes novella, electricity is given the place of the dangerous tool of modernization. Electricity allowed for lighting up of darkened spaces, but one of the byproducts of electric lights and electric wiring to a lesser degree is heat. Wiring people’s houses for electricity created a much greater likelihood of fire. But more directly the harnessing of electricity for human use allowed for the creation of new ways to kill each other like the electric chair. So Crane’s reference to Frankenstein is also a roundabout critique of electricity specifically and modernization in general. While Crane’s novella is organized around the modernizing of a small town, the story maintains naturalism’s view of nature as uncaring and dangerous.

Why Haven’t You Been Writing?

Pulling out Hair

Watch the baby.

Make breakfast.

Get the girl on the bus.

Watch the baby.

Do the dishes.

Watch he baby.

Go look for a job.

Watch the baby.

He is banging the pans.

Watch the baby.

How could you not hear?

Did you feed him lunch?

Why isn’t the laundry done?

You didn’t clean up after lunch.

Why is he still in his PJs?

Pick your daughter up from school.

Watch the baby.

Did you get that interview?

I’m not your babysitter.

What’s for dinner?

Clean the damn dishes.

Watch the baby.

Why didn’t you make the girl do her homework?

Get them in the shower.

Get them to bed.

Where the hell is that job you are supposed to get?